Empowering through Education

Education provides opportunity and has the power to create better outcomes. It can inspire and impact whānau and communities. It must be accessible to all regardless of socio-economic factors or gender.

Our Mission

The Kate Edger Educational Charitable Trust’s purpose is to fund the promotion, advancement and encouragement of education for women.

The Trust is named in recognition of Kate Milligan Edger (1857-1935), who in 1877 was the first woman to graduate with a Bachelor’s Degree in New Zealand and the second in the British Empire.

It is governed by a volunteer Board of Trustees with General Manager Nina Tomaszyk managing both The KEECT and Academic Dress Hire.


“I would like to express how thankful I am that the Trust has believed in me and my ability to do well and achieve the goals I have set out to achieve. Being a woman in society can unfortunately come with added worries, and I often feel like I am of less importance…But your kind support has opened my eyes to see that I have the support I need to succeed and be whoever I want to be.”    – Casey | Foundation Awardee

Our Awards Programme

The Kate Edger Educational Charitable Trust’s Awards Programme currently funds over 110 awards totaling $600,000 for tertiary study each year.

Individual awards range in value from $2000 to $18,000 across a wide range of genres and criteria such as discipline specific, geographical, qualification and institution. Without assistance from The KEECT, many
of the awardees would not be able to access further education and realise their academic potential.

The award selection process is rigorously overseen by an Awards Committee and the approach is both academic and holistic, considering such things as financial need, whether the applicant is first in family
to study or any challenges they might have. There is a range of award options based on things such as study genre; vocation specific; culture, geography and age. See here for the full list of available Awards.

The Trust is funded by Academic Dress Hire (ADH), a social enterprise that hires and sells academic regalia and legal attire for graduations, legal admissions and school prizegivings. All proceeds are used to fund the operations of The KEECT and 90% of the Awards Programme.  The other 10% of awards
funding comes from private and corporate donors through bequests and sponsor partnerships.